Little did Nao Kogure realize back in middle school that when she left an umbrella and a box of bandages in the rain for injured delinquent Taiga Onise that she would meet him again in high school. Nao wants nothing to do with the gruff and frightening Taiga, but he suddenly presents her with a huge bouquet of flowers and asks her to date him—with marriage in mind! Is Taiga really so scary, or is he a sweetheart in disguise?
Honey, or Honey So Sweet as titled by Viz, is about a relationship that blossoms between two high school students: a boy everybody notices because they're afraid of him (Taiga) and a girl nobody notices because she's timid (Nao). The plot is as generic as it sounds. There are plot points that make themselves really obvious and the same type of characters you'd find in any other generic high school romance series, from serious characters to characters who scream a lot.
The series had a really rocky start and gets weird at times because it starts off with Nao having a crush on her uncle. The
writer plays it off as her having mistaken familial love with attraction (still weird) and, thankfully, doesn't remind the reader about it ever again. Honey So Sweet is steeped in some traditional ideology, like the whole creepy shindig about men promising off their sisters and daughters to each other. There are also small consent issues—like kissing while one person is asleep—and it's acknowledged that there was a consent issue but it gets swept under the rug pretty fast. Just...don't...write it? Especially if it's an issue to begin with. It's not integral to the plot so it's not a necessary addition.
Overall, Honey So Sweet doesn't introduce anything new to the genre. The ending yonkoma were cute additions, especially after the abrupt ending and the lackluster bonus comic of the original concept. While not groundbreaking, this series is entertaining enough to keep the reader occupied for a couple of days.
Honey much like its title is sweet. This story seems to play out like other shoujos, where an under-the-radar girl begins to slowly like a delinquent or a boy who at least has the face of one. There's nothing breaking the syrupy-sweet shoujo mold, but that is okay too. If you take it for what it is you can enjoy Honey.
Kogure is okay. She fits the generic main character mold. She teeters on a line of boring to forgettable for me. I want to diagnose her with SCS (Shoujo Crying Syndrome), but I think it's understood she's a crybaby. I suppose that could add or
take away from her cute factor. She also has a very naive take on love, which could annoy you. At her age, I thought she would understand the differences between familiar and romantic love.
Onise is the misunderstood love interest. Well, actually that was debunked in the first chapter. He's slowly becoming someone Kogure would look upon for a relationship. I would say he's my favorite out of this manga. He speaks and texts formal, draws pictures of animals on everything he writes, and blushes at the blink of an eye. Onise has an adorable demeanor.
Misaki is another one of the "loner brigade." He's the resident tsundere, and is terrible at expressing his feelings. He ticked me off in the beginning, but he's tolerable now.
Stoic girl was a close bid for my favorite. I always seem to like deadpan-snarkers. She has no intentions of making friends, but finds the loner brigade pleasant to be around. And food... She loves delicious food.
The fact that Kogure is (or at least thinks) in love with her attractive, young uncle was weird for me. Kogure contemplates whether what she feels for him is familiar love confused for romantic love. I guess every shoujo has to have a love rival. *sigh*
The relationship between Onise and Kogure started out as a forced date dwindled down to friendship. There's quick love development within seven chapters, Kogure now wonders if she likes Onise more than a friend. Her stoic (not) friend tries her best to help decipher her feelings.
I like the art style. The lines are very thin and the hair is fluffy. Everyone in this manga looks adorable. My only dislike is the mangaka draws fingers so bony in closeups, that they look disjointed.
Honey is nothing exciting, but it is cute. There are also few chapters translated. If you read it online you will have to switch to multiple sites.